Big season for Neely

By Kevin Eckleberry

May 18, 2014

Former LaGrange Academy standout Khadija Neely and the Chattanooga State softball team fell short in its quest to win a national championship.

Chattanooga State lost to Central Florida 6-3 on Saturday in an elimination game in the National Junior College Athletic Association national softball tournament in Utah.

Had Chattanooga State won the game, it would have advanced to the championship round.

Instead, Chattanooga State settled for a third-place finish.

Neely capped her stellar sophomore season with one hit in the Central Florida game.

After beating Darton College 10-1 in its tournament opener, Chattanooga State blew out North Central Texas College 11-4.

Neely had one hit and an RBI against Darton College, and she was 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, and an RBI against North Central.

Chattanooga State fell into the loser’s bracket with a 4-2 loss to Central Florida, and while Neely didn’t have a hit, she did walk once and had an RBI.

Chattanooga State stayed alive with a 2-0 win over Odessa College, and Neely had a pair of doubles and two RBIs.

Chattanooga State then beat Southern Union 10-3, and Neely had a hit and an RBI.

That marked the seventh straight game Neely had at least one RBI.

That win set up a rematch against Central Florida, which ended Chattanooga State’s season with the 6-3 win.

The loss concluded a spectacular season for Neely, who’ll have two years of eligibility remaining when she signs with her new school.

Neely had a .407 batting average, and she hit 10 home runs and drove in 52 runs.